(4az) Heath Himstedt: Meet the Candidate
AIChE Annual Meeting
Sunday, November 3, 2013 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
I am seeking positions in chemical, environmental, and/or civil engineering.
My primary research interest is designing enhanced separations for sustainable engineering. One research focus will be enhanced filtration and chromatography using responsive polymers. Stimuli-responsive polymers can be incorporated into or onto supports—such as membranes or zeolites. This technique could be used for anti-fouling membranes of contaminated water or enhanced chromatographic purification of pharmaceuticals. A second research focus will be engineered surfaces for rapid, flow-through reactors. By incorporating reactive species into polymer chains grafted on a membrane support, a high surface area to volume ratio reactor could be achieved. Since mass transfer through this reactor would be via convection, diffusion limitations could be eliminated. A third research focus will be enhanced separation on a small scale for distributed chemical manufacture. By engineering combined production/separation systems on a small scale, production of certain chemicals could be performed at the point of use. An exciting application of this idea is a wind or solar powered combined reactor/separator for production of ammonia fertilizers in developing nations, which lack infrastructure for rapid chemical distribution.
I am passionate about engineering education. As a Ph.D. student, I took the initiative to serve as the instructor of record for four university courses. I am prepared to teach numerous undergraduate courses, particularly separations and reactor/process design. I also envision teaching a number of specialty graduate courses such as membrane separations, polymerization, and sustainable technologies, among others. I excel at multi-disciplinary collaboration, and I will seek out collaborations with associated departments and research centers, such as centers for sustainability, water research, or environmental stewardship. I also plan to collaborate with the department of education to develop courses on more effective engineering education.